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    Happy new year all.

    I decided to write a short introduction on Iceland since it has been getting some attention especially after SnowSavage´s great TR.

    Before I begin I would like to note that I am not connected to any company’s or any touring services I am a professional fireman/Emt, law student and a member of a mountain rescue team but my nr.1 hobby has been for the last decade mountain skiing and after a prolapse in my back splitboarding.

    So nr. 1. When to visit Iceland.

    Because the country is so far north the days in December trough February are quite short, currently we only have about 7 hours of daylight with transitions, also the weather is very unpredictable and white outs are frequent.

    March-June would be my recommendation for a visit, daylight is longer and the weather is a little more stable but still anything can be expected. All the resorts close in the end of April beginning of May so if you want to combine touring with resorts take that into account.

    June-September many areas in the “highlands” above 700m give the option on summer touring in some great conditions in good weather, this option would be exiting for those who might like to combine mtb and splitboarding although a 4wd rental would be essential.

    Summary, if you plan to visit have a plan b,c,d ready, the country is quite small and you can drive around the country in 2 days (without the west-fjords which is a great area to tour but requires more planning, boat etc. ) so if you are planning a trip keep in mind that the weather here is very unstable and snow conditions are to, but I would say March-June you can be pretty sure to find some areas in good conditions.

    Nr.2 mountain culture and safety.

    The entire population of Iceland is 320.000 and very few are active in ski touring or splitboarding so any area you want to explore is most likely to have very few if any others, this although does not include areas in the south where Vatnajokull and the notorious flight buster Eyjafjallajokull, those areas are tourist heavy but on the other hand not the place to go for splitboarding or ski touring.

    Avalanches are an issue and conditions can change fast so ava knowledge is essential the national weather service gives out warnings but they are in Icelandic and not completely reliable. Rescue teams are all across the country on standby and its free to get a bail out (I am strongly against this) but that is the way it is.

    Summary. You can find awesome places to ride and tour far away from anyone just please check the weather and be self sufficient we have enough of dumb tourists getting there rentals stuck or worse.

    Nr.3 How you get here.

    Well you land in Keflavik airport which is far away from the Troll Peninsula (my personal favorite) so a 6 hour drive or an hour drive to Reykjavik and 45 minutes in an airplane to Akureyri.

    If you guys have any questions feel free to contact me hopefully I can be of some assistance.


    Remember to bring parts, our shops suck.


    Thanks for posting this info!

    Despite your good advice on the seasons, restrictions on my schedule require me to make my Iceland trip now (specifically, the third week of December). I’m looking to do any combination of splitboarding and ice/alpine climbing. Any information on conditions, locations, or really anything at all would be much appreciated!


    ^ @MagnusIceland wrote:

    check the weather and be self sufficient

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    I am planning to visit around the solar eclipse at March 20th next year ( @Split partners wanted) so what are the budget options? How expensive is Iceland anyway (compared to Europe)? Public transport between cities? Is it absolutely necessery to rent a car for more remote destinations? Hostels?
    I get about 12 hours of daylight around my dates – So I guess about 9-10 hours of usable daylight?


    MagnusIceland, Thank you for the post. Iceland is on my bucket list for touring. I was there last summer and fell in love with everything Icelandic!!

    I’m not Icelandic and have only been there once, but I can answer your questions with a fair bit of certainty..

    There is very little in the way of public transport between the towns (there is really only 1 city, Reykjavik). There is a tour company that charters people around (Reykjavik Excursions) but I can only assume the services they offer are drastically reduced in the winter if they are in operation at all.

    Getting around will require a car, and due to the erratic and often dangerous weather driving can be quite difficult so a 4wd vehicle with appropriate tires is a must (I have used and would recommend iceland4x4carrental). It’s likely you can get by in a FWD car, but there are so few people on the road that if you were to get stuck getting help could be quite the task.

    Prices are not as bad as you might expect. I would say they are a little higher than mainland European countries with gas being quite pricey.

    Accommodation will likely be your biggest hurtle to planning a trip as there are not allot of places to stay in the high season, let alone in the winter months.

    Best of luck and please bring back stores, pictures, and video!!

    Kahti Ryan


    I spent 5 months in Iceland from March to July last year, working at a small hostel in Dalvik and getting out as much as we could. I will eventually get round to hashing together a trip report!

    As pow_junkie said Reykjavik is the only real “city” and even then its small. Akureyri is pretty much just a town. Getting from place to place by public transport is possible, buses are actually pretty regular and do a good job even in winter. They are however pretty pricey.
    Renting a car isn’t exactly cheap either though. I think the cheapest price we found in the summer was maybe £600 a week for a wee 2 door hatchback thing, but IIRC the prices are usually half that in winter. While you will probably be ok with a regular car by the end of march, a 4wd would inspire a little more confidence and if you plan on going to the north east or into the interior is a must.
    When we needed a car for the south we managed to strike a deal with a friend of a friend and got their car for £200 for just over a week, but unless you know someone it’s unlikely to find this kind of deal online. You could check though, their version of gumtree.

    As for other prices, supermarkets are a little more costly than UK ones, the Bonus ones located in bigger places are the cheapest. Beer in bars is probably no more than you’d pay in London these days (800-1000ISK – £4-5 a bottle) but no cheap supermarket deals, spirits import your own or forget about it! Alcohol can only be bought in special state-licensed stores.
    Hostels are about £15-20 a night I think.

    We did our entire trip on a stupidly low budget, I think I had under £1000 in the bank when I left. At least £300 of that was spent travelling round the south at the end and I still got back to the UK with a bit left over!
    We managed this by working 3-4 hours a day for food & accommodation, which we found through Our host was also kind enough to lend us her car often (and kayaks!). The place we worked is called Husabakki and is just down the valley from Jokul Bergmenn’s well known heli-skiing operation if you’re interested, but Kolla our awesome host and the woman running the show has since moved on to another job so I don’t know if they’re still taking workawayers.

    Let me know if I can give you any more info…


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